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Potential of using ground-based high-power Lasers to decelerate the evolution of Space Debris in LEO

Scharring, Stefan and Kästel, Jürgen and Wagner, Gerd and Riede, Wolfgang and Klein, Erik Marten and Bamann, Christoph and Döberl, Egon and Weinzinger, Dietmar and Promper, Wolfgang and Flohrer, Tim and Di Mira, Andrea (2021) Potential of using ground-based high-power Lasers to decelerate the evolution of Space Debris in LEO. In: 8th European Conference on Space Debris. 8th European Conference on Space Debris, 20.-23. Apr. 2021, virtual.

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Official URL: https://conference.sdo.esoc.esa.int/proceedings/sdc8/paper/98/SDC8-paper98.pdf


High-power lasers offer a unique potential for debris collision avoidance and orbit lowering for removal purposes within the debris mitigation scenario. Photon pressure and surface ablation are explored as suitable mechanisms to remotely apply the required velocity increment to debris targets. The appropriate regime of laser intensity and fluence, respectively, is discussed in terms of technical maturity and laser safety. Laser power beaming from ground to space is analysed considering atmospheric constraints like aerosol attenuation, cloud cover and turbulence including possibilities and limitations of technical counter-measures. Operational risks comprise uncertainties in momentum transfer as well as thermo-mechanical side effects highlighting the necessity of target reconnaissance. Moreover, making space debris touchable from ground might raise concerns of third parties regarding their own space assets not to be tackled by high-power lasers. Hence, the need for global governance of this approach for space debris mitigation is reflected.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/142421/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Potential of using ground-based high-power Lasers to decelerate the evolution of Space Debris in LEO
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Scharring, StefanStefan.Scharring (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kästel, JürgenJuergen.Kaestel (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Wagner, GerdGerd.Wagner (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Riede, WolfgangWolfgang.Riede (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Klein, Erik MartenErik.Klein (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Bamann, ChristophFESG TU MünchenUNSPECIFIED
Döberl, EgonASA AstrosystemeUNSPECIFIED
Weinzinger, DietmarASA AstrosystemeUNSPECIFIED
Promper, WolfgangASA AstrosystemeUNSPECIFIED
Flohrer, TimTim.Flohrer (at) esa.intUNSPECIFIED
Di Mira, AndreaAndrea.Di.Mira (at) esa.intUNSPECIFIED
Date:20 May 2021
Journal or Publication Title:8th European Conference on Space Debris
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Space debris, laser ablation, photon pressure, high-power laser, pulsed laser, momentum transfer, debris mitigation, laser heating, global governance
Event Title:8th European Conference on Space Debris
Event Location:virtual
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:20.-23. Apr. 2021
Organizer:ESOC Space Debris Office, Darmstadt
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project Use of Lasers for the Detection of Space Debris
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics > Active Optical Systems
Institute of Technical Physics > Solid State Lasers and Nonlinear Optics
Deposited By: Scharring, Stefan
Deposited On:10 Jun 2021 11:54
Last Modified:10 Jun 2021 11:54

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